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This is How

by M J Hyland

Modern and Classic Literary Fiction

LoveReading View on This is How


Longlisted for the prestigious 2010 Orange Prize.


This is a fascinating and moving novel about a young man who sees the world from a slightly troubled point of view. From the beginning the signs are there that not all is quite as it should be in the mind of Patrick Oxtoby and, despite best efforts to improve his life, his inner turmoils bring about a turn of events that will change his life completely. A totally engrossing book, sad, bittersweet and brilliant.

This is How Synopsis

When his fiancé breaks off their engagement, Patrick Oxtoby leaves home and moves into a boarding house in a remote seaside town. But in spite of his hopes and determination to build a better life, nothing goes to plan and Patrick is soon driven to take a desperate and chilling course of action. This is How is a mesmerising and meticulously drawn portrait of a man whose unease in the world leads to his tragic undoing. With breathtaking wisdom and an astute insight into the human mind, award-winning M.J. Hyland’s new book is a masterpiece that inspires horror and sympathy in equal measure.


This is How Press Reviews

A tour de force. Hyland illuminates this man's damaged soul with such a steely, brilliant clarity that your heart breaks for him.' Helen Garner

'M.J. Hyland has a ferocious imagination, and an eerie way of squeezing the distance between author, character and reader, so that the atmosphere of the book soaks and penetrates the reader's mind. When you've been reading Hyland, other writers seem to lack integrity; they seem wedded to weak confabulations, whereas she aims straight for the truth and the heart.'
Hilary Mantel

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781847673824
Publication date: 02/07/2009
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781847673824
Publication date: 2nd July 2009
Author: M J Hyland
Publisher: Canongate Books Ltd
Format: Paperback
Genres: Literary Fiction,

About M J Hyland

M.J. Hyland was born in London in 1968 to Irish parents, and spent her early childhood in Dublin. She now lives and works in Melbourne. Her short stories have been published in Australia, the USA and Ireland and she also edited the literary magazine, Nocturnal Submissions, for a number of years.

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